tv U.S. Role in Middle East CSPAN August 12, 2012 3:48pm-4:40pm EDT
stability in afghanistan. there is no stability in afghanistan that does not involve pakistan on. there is no stability of pakistan on the design of afghanistan. we have a common interest to t this right on both sides. >> secretary of defense panetta indicated he sees no reason -- he sees no reason to end the drone strikes across the border. there was a pakistan a doctor in prison right now. sentenced to 33 years for treason for assisting americans in the search for osama bin laden. what does that say about our relationship with pakistan where it would seem they have more loyalties to osama bin laden than they do to the united
states? you are talking about an international fugitive wanted all over the world and somebody goes to jail and prison for treason for trying to turn him in? >> steve, i defer to the ambassador on that. in a word i call it outrages. >> can you explain that decision? this is one of the problems with the relationship right now. americans look at that decision. they say, what is going on inside the pakistan government? what is going on inside the courts? they clearly seem to hate us. >> if i may interject here. i not think there is any question of hate here. pakistan is are in a place where we are looking for our first democratic transition.
our institutions have found -- our records are looking with. we have lost a prime minister to the actions of the supreme court in pakistan. we are working according to our constitutional law. let me just say very clearly. he had no idea he was looking for a summit and leighton. do understand for pakistan, and the ground, he was contracting with a foreign intelligence agency without anybody's position. he was contracting with gros who are be heading our soldiers. he was contracting with many people on the ground. he had no clue he was engaged in this historic fight against -- a search for a sum of been laden. i would also like to point out
that -- osama bin laden. i would also like to point out, if you heard president obama's speech, he recognized pakistan's cooperation leading up to the eventual killing and search. i think there is no question. it really pains me to hear pakisn is being put in a category of a country that is harboring or is looking to preserve osama bin laden's sanctuary. all other high-value targets were found with pakistan's cooperation. that is not the profile of a country that is looking to hide osama bin laden. we were all excited when he was found. when it was discovered it was without our partipation, it
was with our assistance at some level. that incident and did straining factions because it was a strike into pakistan we would have certainly cooperated. we would have said share the intelligence with us and we will go after him. i cannot really say what can or should be done with him. hes facing the courts. he has access to justice. he will appeal his sentence if he made. that is really a choice he has to make. to tell us we cannot put -- send it to court a doctor who has put into jeopardy children who are now facing critical vaccines --
what he has done is he has done a great deal of our workers on th ground, put them in danger. our primary vaccinators. he has endangered people's lives. were not a country looking to be -- this is one of the charges i think holds up against the doctor. it is not bout who in some -- who assisted the united states to find osama bin laden. we have been assisting the united state i have to say with a disrespect, it is quite outrageous to say pakistan has been -- i have to say with due respect it is outrageous to say pakistan after all the sacrifices -- >> i think general has something
to say. >> another good thing out leaving service is to get your first name back. three quick points. not to disagree with our pakistan ambassador. . no. 1. the u.s. popularity favorability from pakistan is 7% right now. that is even lower than u.s. population favorability ratings for our congress. that is very low. it is not entirely due to pakistan. those ratings are like that. the second point is, i think for the united states we are simply over the past 10 years are not clear what pakistan's interests are. i am not sure pakistan is clear or unified on this. on the one hand if you are
pakistan and you are part of the national security apparatus and looking at the potential for a week afghanistan, then staying aligned with the afghan taliban mas good sense. if afghastan were to collapse, they will once again become the playground of greatames. there is an argument they would want to hedge. on the other hand you can have a view that the pakistanis think afghanistan will succeed brilliantly. you may want to heads with the taliban as well. there can oculus remains opaque to us. the third point, -- their calculus remains opaque. the transition, this first successful civilian transition, that is critical. stepping back we always will
come to the conclusion that pakistan nes to get a strong civilian government that controls its military. the nature of the relationship has been one in which the urgent has always trumped the long term strategic importance. the urgent is most recently the war on terror. compromises' deal directly with the military. it deals with the isi. of course that makes sense for the united states of america with the consequences of 9/11. am not sure that is a strategy which 20 years from now will make is any better off. >> i have one more question. the united states has been very critical and the press has been critical of pakistan. particularly for giving sanctuary on the borr.
you have all i am guessing have been to that border region as i have been. it is a very difficult place to defend it. a place politically where the pakistan government has almost no power and very little influence. is it fair to blame the government of pakistan for making that area available when in fact they do not control it? they have sent troops in there a number of different times and sustained a very heavy casualties. i guess what i am saying, has pakistan been unfairly attacked for the border issue? >> you know, the way we look at this is sovereignty has
privileges. that comes with responsibilities that is true on both sides of the border. you cannot control the border from one side alone. we have been quite deliver it with the afghan government to do so on its side of the border. pakistan has a sovereign responsibility on its side of the border. even if you could make the case that is in the interest of pakistan or was at one time to support the afghan taliban by way of permittg them sanctuary and so forth, i don't see that today the posturing -- the pakistani taliban presents such a significant threat to pakistan itself that whatever that hedging strategy might have been
some time ago, it no longer makes any sense. the's no way in our view to discriminate effectively between the afghan taliban in the border region and the tallis' -- palestinian taliban itself. it may be hedging approach but is out of date. >> this is something we have been arguing for quite some time. from the safe haven on the other side of the line, or opposition forces receive fancial support, equipment, and trning. initially, nobody wanted to admi this. now everyone admits, our partners, everyone is pointing the finger that that is the area we should deal with. you cannot ignore that.
>> the chairman clearly mentioned in his last days in office that the haqqani network -- we have been receiving promises from our pakistani friends that they will do something and we are hopeful that there are some practical steps toward that and is not the difficult to say that's taliban is not welcome to use pakistani soil. there are a lot of promises but
it is better to be under promised an over delivered. >> may i just add voice to what the ambassador is saying. pakistan has clearly and unequivocally said that we will -- we would be very happy to assist the armed forces but we have not seen any serious -- we are not clear about what the u.s. policy of the last few years, where it is going. if we are to assist in the restoration of the peace talks that are going on, and we are assisting at every level, but at
the heart of this assumption is that 49 nations have not been able to accomplish the goals and afghanistan and somehow pakistan should somehow accomplish that with its 150,000 troops committed to the border. they are very clear that pakistan is maxed out on these national borders of afghanistan and there have been extensive anti-terrorist operations. we displaced hundreds of thousands of refugees in our own country shifting them out of a
huge range of areas and what did we get? we are in effect at the heart of the whole argument is the assumption that pakistan has limitless capacity. the united states and others can walk away but we cannot walk away from it. we will have to stay here in the trenches and on the front line. i will give you an example. over the last eight months, we have constant firing and attacks and these are critical masses of people that come men, not just people going across the border and coming back. we have informed u.s. and nato forces at least 52 times on the
longitude and latitude on where the terrorists have gone. we should not be getting this constant message that pakistan has to do everything on its side of the border. we assume it is a capacity problem b we would assume at least that amount of [unintelligible] be given to pakistan. you see the public messaging which is constantly assuming that pakistan should mop up where everybody else lives of. we cnot do this alone.
that is what we need a partnership and we need to focus on goals that are concrete and deliverable. that is what we need our ministries to act in concert with each other. if we are operating in the south, it would be a good idea if they are operating in the south. one of the ways to triangulate terraces through their conversations and i am sure that all this can be achieved. we have nearly 1000 border check posts on our side of the border but we are seeing about one- tenth of that on the nato access side. here's a question on what is a priority. we have had over 250 barona tax -- drone attacks and we are
unable to take them on or smoke them out. >> we want to turn this over to the audience for questions and i have a couple more questions i want to raise. >> i have to reply to the ambassador. there is no comparison of the pakistani taliban relatively recent, small in scale presence inside afghanistan and in particular, these too remote provinces, it to the debt -- decade long experience and relationship between elements of the pistani government and the afghan taliban. to compare these is simply unfair. >> you lead with how difficult the terrain is and the ambassador -- it is like
telling a bunch of young captains or majors that are going to fight up there, welcome to the outpost on the moon. it is extraordinarily difficult terrain. we understand that, but my second point is that, let's take the haqqani heauarters. about a kilometer away from the main activity is the headquarters of the ninth infantry division of the pakistani army. pakistan has suffered great losses in e war on terror. i do not dispute that. do credit needs to be given, but i have to say from my perspective, a very good start for pakistan would be say we are not going to go in and fight because it would be very tough fight. we call the afghan taliban leadership and tell them you have several choices to make right now. you can stop fighting and begin
peace negotiations, you cant fight from our soil. you can put down your weapons and we will see if we can integrate into pakistan, or number three, you can go into afghanistan and continue to fight, but not from our soil. >> we are very happy to do that. that is certainly the provision of the pakistan government today. the challenge lies in ourtate as much as the challenge lives in afghanistan. there is no question right now of hedging bs. we are not betting on anyone right now. the entire focus is not one group. we make sure the prime minister meets with everybody. we are in constant conversation
on how to move forward. i would like to point the group from moving from a security transition to talks of peace. we are getting mixed signals. [unintelligible] this assumes that we can always bring everybody to the table and that we have a high stake in [unintelligible] and that brings afghanistan into the future as aodern, developing, emerging democracy. yes, we have a stake in that and we are very clear that that is the model we would like to invest in. there is no betting on the taliban. the challenge us as much as they challenge of afghanistan.
they must do so according -- according to the constitution of pakistan. there are certain areas that are not easy to govern. it has to be incremental. we cannot be asked to bomb people on our own mall others hang back. i think it is a question of priorities being developed on both sides. this would be a constructive time to do so. now that there is a will on both sides, that includes india as well as pakistan. we are making great strides in opening trade. this is the new pakistan.
. >> what are the realistic chances of some sort of meaningful negotiations between the taliban and whoever, afghanistan, pakistan, the united states, whoever, to bring about some sort of political resolution or a cease-fire, some sort of outcome that might end of this for the afghan people. what do you think? >> the peace process has two tears. one is reconciliation and one is reintegration. on the reintegration front, we have achieved a lot. a reintegration designed to bring the foot soldier's within
the system. with that in mind those that renounce violence, cut ties with al qaeda, they are more than welcome to reintegrate. there are more than 4000 taliban foot soldiers already in joining th program and they enjoy the facilities we are providing. on the reconciliation front, however, there are a lot of talks and discussions, but this is a process. if you try to achieve something overnight, it is not going to happen. we have opened a different channel of communications with them. most recently that a university, the taliban was represented in one room engaging with a peace
council from our government. it was not a negotiation, but an exchange of views. everybody made their point clear. we think that with the support of all or pakistani friends, that have been saying they are supporting the peace process, which we appreciate. we are seeing some practical steps that have something at stake in nagin play a crucial role. it is something that is going on. this is one of the top priorities in our government', and within the taliban also, there are moderator's that we
want to join. they still insist on military operations. ther are signs that make us believe that we can get results in the end. >> and to the question why the taliban would want to enter into negotiations at a time when the united states is scaling back and withdrawing its troops, and by the end of 2014 we will be down to no combat troops. why wod they not want to take a chance and see how good the afghan army is before they start thinking about -- >> they may want to take a chance. what president obama has made clear is that the door is open to another possibility. that is a negotiated political process that could leave for the
afghan taliban leadership that is not subdued to the pressure of the military campaign. leave open to them of door back into the political process in afghanistan. they have to meet three conditions. have to break ties with al qaeda cost of the insurgency, stop the fighting, and when they come back to afgnistan that have to do so inside the framework of the afghan constitution. so there are conditions to this notion of reconciliation. what they think about doing this? they are being hmered by troops and approaching 350,000 afghan forces. they are under extreme military pressure. thiss one of the design features of the military campaign, to put sufficient military pressure on the movement so that the door that president obama has opened, the political process, is effective.
as we transition from being in the lead to the afghan forces being in the league, the taliban narrative of counter occupation is the taliban narrave against -- of jihad against the west begins to erode. finally, we believe that by way of our partnership with afghanistan, and not only with the u.s. but eight other countries in the nato alliance, send signals to the talibanhat they cannot wait us out. if they like the current situation, living in some sort of safe haven, although probably as second-class citizens in pakistan, ifthey want to ntinue another decade of this, then the door will remain open until they see otherwise.
>> talking about the progress that has been made, in the big urban areas o afghanistan, things have transformed since 2001. a lot of young people there have a different world view. for the taliban to believe that they could claim all of that back again, that is a stretch. does that mean that as we go forward with transitions, there will be problems with security and bad governments in those areas? going forward with talks in the taliban, there are three points. very importantly, if we get this transition right, then the taliban narrative is evaporating everyday as the afghans move to
the lead. number two, it does make the point that we have really got to get this in during or longer term presence right. that longer-term presence that we have after 2014, security systems may be counter- terrorism, it adds up to reassurance to the afghans and also the right incentives to the taliban that we are not leaving. the final point is, we talk about a policalettlement. sometimes we overstate this as a question of taliban versus all the rest of the afghan body politic. my own view is that afghanistan writ large, going back to travel times in the mid-1970's, the afghan body politick means --
needs recommend -- reconciliation among themselves. it is a subset of a larger dialogue that has to take place. let's be clear. the taliban in the mid9--- 1990's to take control over a lot of parts of afghanistan, they were welcomed as liberators from some very vicious war lords whose deprivation had opened the door to the taliban. some of the war lords occupied positions of formal and informal power in afghanistan today. problem goes far beyond the taliban. >> sunday bully the whole situation could fall back into civil war, that after the united states leaves and the stability that has provided there in terms of security, that you run the
risk of these tribal groups that have been at each other's throats in some cases for centuries are going to re-emerge and people will leave the taliban and everything will just go back to the way it was. is that a real concern? >> in afghanistan before the soviet invasion, we live with each other peacefully. before the invasion, we had a constitution, a model society, rule law, a justice system, and this perception that afghanistan had tribes fighting
with each other, that is not right. when the soviet invasion happen, from that point on until the civil war and so on, for the last 30 years or so, we had fighting imposed on us. before that were left side by side for years. something that we believe is that we do not want to go back to those dark days. we are looking for the bright future. one point i want to make about corruption, most recently we had a very successful conference in tokyo and more than 17 countries came. that pledged to support afghanistan for e next 40 years. we agreed about mutual accountability, that we do certain things while our
international partners will do ceain things. three days ago our president already issued a decree with 23 very ambitious measures to fight corruption drastically across the line. [unintelligible] >> the thing that is a realistic scenario? >> several points i would make. i agree that the afghans are tired of war and have many adults in their lifetime that have seen the tragedy of civil war and taliban occupation.
secondly, there are no neighbors of afghanistan that are pulling at any of the domestic groups of afghanistan. there is a fractious set of ethnic groups. third, in 2006 i went to town where the rst afghan national army headquarters was located. we visited the major general in comman he said he was most proud of the staff monitors in the room. we were all fighting each other about 10 years ago. steve asked what he was most worried about. he said i were you americans will leave before it is time. i thought he was saying before
we had gotten all the equipment to them and the barracks were built. i was wrong. he set out will go back to what i am most proud of. we are not ready yet to work together. we don't have a level of trust and confidence. we need you here for a longer time for us to achieve that. my view is you do not need 100,000 u.s. troops to achieve that. you can be clever. i think they do want us to have a smaller footprint in their country than we do today. >> given the level of development of the afghan political structure, civil war might be a risk if we did t have a deliver it transition process. and beyond the transition process, if we did not plan today for a sustained u.s. supportive role alongside the nato alliance, and from 50 other countries, they have said essentially we will not replace
999. it is not a 25-year break from 1989 and we will just repeat th tragic history when the russians left. >> willing to take some questions from the floor. we have people with microphones. let's start here in the middle. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> live now with president obama. you can watch this anytime at our c-span library. >> it looks good. and all of you look good. happy birthday to you happy birthday to you ♪
[cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. it is true. i am now 51. [cheers and applause] michelle, you are, too. you look better than i do. michelle's says i do not look a day over 50. there are a couple of people i want to acknowledge. first of all, thank you so much, d.j. thank you so much. my great friend, for all that you do. and, everybody on the host committee, thank you for the great job you do. now, we just had the olympics' closing ceremony, and we could not be prouder of our american
athletes, bringing home the gold, conducting themselves as we would hope that somebody would conduct themselves representing the united states. they just did an outstanding job, and i know that all of you look like you are pretty smart folks, you were probably watching the olympics, and unless your cable was broken, you probably also know we have a pretty intense campaign going on right now, and the reason this is such an intense campaign is because we could not have a bigger choice in front of us than the one that we face in november. it is not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties. more than any other election, this is a choice about two different visions for the country, two different directions as to where america should go, and the direction you
choose when you walk into that voting booth in november is going to make a difference not just in your life but in the lives of your children and the lives of your grandchildren. it will make a difference for decades to come. now, four years ago, we came together. not just democrats. we had republicans, and we had and dependents. which we had independence -- we had independents. if you work hard, you can get ahead. the basic idea that if you act responsibly, if you are putting in all of your efforts, you can find a job that pays the bills, you can find a home that you can call your own. you can send your kids to college. you will not go bankrupt when you get sick. you can retire with dignity and
respect, and most importantly, the next generation can dream even bigger and do even better than we ever imagined. that is the core of the american dream. that is the basic american promise that made us the envy of the world, that made us the most powerful economy in the world, that built the largest middle class in the world, that idea that here in america, you can make it if you try. now, we have gone through a decade in which that basic compact seemed it was not true for too many people. those at the top were doing very well, but for ordinary families all across america, it felt like people were working harder, making less, while the cost of everything was going up. jobs were being shipped overseas. we turned surpluses into
deficits. they culminated in the worst financial crisis since the great depression. we have spent the last 3.5 years trying to get us back on track. we saved an automobile industry on the brink of collapse. [applause] we worked with the financial sector to start doing things the old-fashioned way, lending to businesses and families and said of engaging in reckless speculation. we did instead of engaging in reckless speculation. we have a long way to go. all of us know family members, neighbors who are still out of work or whose homes are still under water. too many folks are burdened
by enormous college debt. too many boats do not have a sense that tomorrow will be better than today. which way do we go? do we go forward tax toward a new vision of an america which prosperity is shared? to go forward to the same policies that got us in the mess in the first place? we have to go forward. i believe we have to keep working to create an america that no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, no matter who you love, you can make it here if you try. that is what is why i am running for a second term as president.
2 we have got everything we need to make things work here in america. we still have the best workers in the world. we have the best entrepreneurs in the world. we have the best colleges and universities. the best scientists. the best researchers. we have the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe. chicago is an example of what makes this country great. what is holding us back is not the lack of big ideas or big plans. what is holding us back is a brand of washington politics that says we're not going to compromise and no matter what. it is gridlocked in stalemate --
and stalesmates and propaganda by the other side that somehow we're going to grow the economy by the top down and the people at the top are doing really well then every one else will benefit. this economics is central to governor romney and it is central to his running mate. yesterday morning my opponent shows his running mate. the ideological leader of the republicans in congress, mr. paul ryan. i want to congratulate him. i know him. i welcome him to the race. congressman ryan is a decent, a family man. he is an art to you a spokesman
for governor romney's vision. it is a vision i fundamentally disagree with. my opponent and congressman ryan and their allies in congress, and they believe that if we get red and more corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest to jobss it will leavd and prosperity. that is where they will take us if they win. this is not speculation. it is embodied in the budget. the centerpiece of his entire economics is a $5 trillion in tax cuts, a lot going to the wealthiest americans.
last week we found out that the paper of this five trillion dollar tax cut, not only with we education, science and research, gut things like rebuilding our roads and bridges, but it turns out that it would also raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $2,000 each. not to reduce the deficit. not to create more jobs. independent economists have said there's nothing in the plan that would create jobs right now. this would all the in order to give another $250,000 tax cut to people that are making $300 million a year or more.
they have tried this before. they have tried to sell us this trickle-down fairy dust before and it did not work. it did not worked . . it is not a plan to cut the deficit. it is not a plan to revise the middle class. it is not a plan to move our economy forward. we do not need more taxes for folks like me. we need to get more taxes to working americans, the middle class families. for folks who are trying to raise their children and send them to college and keep a roof over their heads. that is the choice in this election. that is why i am running for a second term as president. [applause] four years ago i promised the american people i would cut taxes on middle-class families. that is what i did.
the typical middle-class families is paying less for their taxes than when i came in office. i want to keep income taxes exactly where they are with everyone that is making $250,000 or more. that is 97 certification a small businesses. if your income is to under $50,000 or less your taxes will not go up a dime -- $250,000 or less, your taxes will not go up a dime. if you make more, you can pay a little more and help young people go to college and make sure we are investing in in basic research to cure things like alzheimer's and cancer. we're asking you to contribute a little bit more. the government is still going to have to do its part. we have already cut $1 trillion of spending.
we can cut out programs that do not work to make sure we can invest in the things that do. we can make government more streamlined and efficient. if we are going to be serious about reducing the deficit, for folks like me to go back and pay at the rate that existed when bill clinton was president only creed 23 million jobs, when from deficit to surplus decree did a whole bunch of millionaires, that is the right -- and created a whole bunch of millionaires, that is the right plan. when a construction worker or a teacher or receptionist, when they have money in their pocket? what do they do? they may go out and buy that new appliance or restaurant or take a vacation once in a riowhile. business has more customers.